Family Matters


Oh my gosh, I wish you could see me right now, I have the hugest smile plastered on my face right now….I’ll tell you why in a second.

First, really quickly: MONDAY’S POST: I wrote about how I got to 6 million monthly views on Pinterest. (Which, by the way, since publication, I am now at 6.2 million!) Well, I did a dumb dumb and somehow, turned the comments OFF for the post!! So I apologize for that confusion. Technology glitches are a part of the game in the world of blogging!

ANYWAY — this perma-grin that has my cheeks hurting….It’s because…..

I’m leaving for Wisconsin tomorrow with Steven!! We’re going to my family’s lake home for our big Fourth of July vacation!

Oh my gosh, I don’t think words can express the level of excitement I have!

Last year, due to Covid, I was not able to join my family on our annual trip (that we’ve been taking since I was a baby!) Last year, the rest of my family could drive up there, but I had to fly, and that was a no-go.

SO, not only am I super pumped to be able to spend the week with my family doing all the Wisconsin-y things: boating, bonfires, barbecuing beer-boiled-brats, fireworks, s’mores, etc….I’m even MORE thrilled that my special gentleman is coming with me!

I don’t know about you, but after the pandemic, with the country opening up again, it’s really put my priorities into perspective. And topping that list…behind God, of course…is family and loved ones.

Since that horrible season of separation when we were all scared and fending for our literal lives against the virus, now that we’re safe and vaccinated, all I want to do is be around the people I love.

I’m finding myself planning more frequent quick trips to visit my family. Steven and I are hanging out with his family in New Jersey just about every week or so. We’re having impromptu dinners with our close friends during the week.

Covid really illuminated that at the end of the day, it’s the people in your life that matter, and they should come first.

So yeah, is it a little bit of a hassle to travel to a small boating town in Wisconsin from New York City? Yeah. And a pricey one at that.

But it’s worth it, because family matters.

And our “chosen family” matters.

Those relationships are worth investing in, and putting atop your priority list.

What are some of the things you’ve found to be priorities after Covid? I’m really curious. Because, not everyone spent the entire year cooped up alone in a 490 square foot studio apartment during the pandemic, like I did. haha Let me know!

I hope you all have an absolutely joyous Fourth of July! We have so much to be grateful for in this country, and the freedoms we enjoy are not something to take for granted! (And are worth protecting…)

I’ll be praying for all of you who may also be traveling this weekend! God bless you, and God bless the USA!

And if you want to join Steven and I on our adventures, I’ll be posting everything on my Instagram stories! See you there!

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5


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57 responses to “Family Matters”

    • Thank you so much Jeff! Oh my gosh I am so incredibly excited!!! 🙂 What are your plans for the fourth? Hugs and love to you and your girls xox

      • We just plan to stay around and relax. Maybe go out to dinner a time or two. Are you still planning on coming to CTK for another talk? Maybe a weekend in September like last time. Let me know, OK? Regards to Steven!

      • oh nice! That sounds like the perfect long weekend 🙂 Yes! Absolutely, i am really looking forward to it! I’ll shoot you an email! 🙂 have a great night! xox

    • aw, thank you so much Robin! I am bouncing off the walls with excitement! haha Hugs and love xox

  1. Can’t wait until you two have kids! What a beautiful Filipino Hapa kid you would have together 🙂

    • hahah thanks Peter — quite a few steps have to happen before that happens 😉 Hugs and love xox

  2. Congratulations on reaching an astonishing 6.2 million! The Lord has indeed blessed you with tremendous reach to share His love and good word. Safe travels, and have a joy-filled Fourth of July celebration surrounded by those whom you hold most dear. 💥🇺🇸 💥✝️🙏🏻

    • oh gosh thank you so much Darryl! 🙂 I appreciate that so much! amen to that – God is good! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend as well! 🙂 big hugs to you xo

    • Thank you so much John! I am bursting with excitement! I am – no joke – bouncing off the walls! hahah Hugs and love xox

    • Hi Tonya! Aw, thank you so much! I am really so thrilled that we’ll be all together during this weekend. i hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July too! what are your plans!? Hugs and love xox

      • Thank you so much! We are seeing the big fireworks downtown with our friends and just relaxing with family and friends. Thanks for asking. Happiest of Independence Days!!! So happy for you all! My love to you and your parents and special gentleman. So happy for you all! XO😀❤

      • oh my gosh that’s so fun! i love going to a big fireworks shindig — there’s this magical feeling in the air of anticipation and excitement! 🙂 Thank you again! love you friend! xox

    • thank you so much Laura! I do love my family 🙂 glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  3. One thing that I find myself valuing is a normal school year. Not one where we had to go online or be separated from others in a cohort style classroom. I have also felt a tug that maybe homeschool would be better for our family. Doing a lot of praying and listening on that one. Cheers to a fun family-filled weekend! So glad you and Steven get to spend the holiday together with your family. ☺️

    • Thank you so much for sharing that, Shoni! I can only imagine the complete upheaval it’s been for school kids and their parents during this past year! it definitely makes you value school and recess! 🙂 thanks so much! i hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July too! Hugs and love xox

  4. Hi Caralyn and Steven!

    There’s at least one thing I’ve learned from this pandemic; always hold something in reserve. Keep two dozen eggs in the fridge, instead of one. Have an extra can (or two) of almost anything around. Why?

    Because like someone wise once said, “One is none. Two is one. And three is just right.”


    • Hi David! oh my gosh that is such smart advice- always hold something in reserve! LOVE THAT so much! (especially true in the case of toilet paper — at least in NYC!) hahaha thanks so much for stopping by, i hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! Hugs and love xox

  5. I’d just like to say ‘congratulations’ for recognizing the the fact that biology does not make a loving family; it is the love and trust and respect between people who extend themselves into the realm of what we consider ‘family’. Yes, Family Does Matter! Cherish yours; it is sacred.

    • Hi JaDonnia! thank you so much for your kind words! you’re so right – living in NYC away from my family, i have definitely come to appreciate my “chosen family.” so true! glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  6. I haven’t figured out my priorities post-COVID yet, because it doesn’t feel post-COVID yet. My state just started relaxing its mask rules a few weeks ago (with talk of bringing them back because of the Delta variant); COVID protocols including masks and social distancing are still required at my work, and that probably won’t change any time soon; and many of my friends have either moved away or are still too cautious to be around others. I would like to say that spending time with friends will be my priority, but the few times I’ve gotten to do that haven’t felt like old times yet.

    • Hi Greg, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Yeah, I definitely hear you. this new Delta variant is scary. And it’s hard to shake the worries we have developed as a result of the pandemic. Praying for you and your state that it opens up soon! Hugs and love xox

      • Thanks… I don’t want to think about this… I feel like I was so close to my life getting back to normal, and now that’s not happening. The large city at the other end of my state (I don’t remember if it was the city or the county that did that) just brought back their mask mandate for everyone, and although they say there’s no plan to do that statewide, the way things went at the beginning of the pandemic was that one city would do something drastic, and then soon the whole state would do it. I feel like I’m being emotionally abused by my government. The petition to recall the governor officially qualified, but more likely he will not be removed from office, because most of this state values free abortions and teaching preschoolers about transgenderism and polyamory and kink more than they value freedom and rational thinking.

        I’m going to say something that’s a little touchy, I apologize in advance if anyone takes this the wrong way… one bit of advice I’ve received quite a bit when expressing these concerns about things being shut down again is, “Well, it happened before, and you survived, so you know you can survive it again!” I realized recently why I feel like this is such terrible and hurtful advice: because it completely minimizes the trauma I went through in losing everything that I ever looked forward to in life. If someone who had been raped before was being forced against her will to walk down a dark street late at night, no one would tell her to cope with it by saying, “Well, you’ve been raped before and you survived, so if you get raped again, you know you can get through it!” Maybe I’m out of line in saying that. I’ve never been raped, and as a man I can’t imagine what it would be like for a woman to go through that. I don’t want to minimize the trauma that rape victims go through. But it still feels like the same kind of hurtful thinking to me…

    • Thank you so much, yes I definitely feel very blessed to be able to spend this time with my family, and that Steven and I both have jobs where we can work from anywhere. hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend. Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks Sheree! yes! I am so so so SO pumped. Right now we’re delayed six hours at the airport, so we’re not off to a great start, but everything will work out in the end! so glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  7. Numbers are down and glad for you however Covid isn’t over and I wish some folks would stop saying that, the delta variant is here and people are still dying and getting sick. Also children under 12 cannot get a shot until September and thats a spreader in itself. Its not as bad, however its not over

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Yes, the Delta variant is definitely very real. I pray the vaccine rollout will continue strongly! Hugs and love xox

    • thank you so much Alice! right now we’re stuck at the airport with a six hour delay. yikes! but all will be good 🙂 i hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend too! what are your plans? Hugs and love xox

  8. Enjoy the time with your family!!! It sounds like it will be such a special trip!! My little sister is flying in today, the first time our family will be together since Christmas 2019. We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but I am beyond excited!!
    My priorities post-covid are achieving optimal health and spending extra time with family. My (young, healthy) boyfriend had a severe case of covid and while he was in the hospital, it became crystal clear that *nothing* else matters if our loved ones aren’t around. Post-covid, I’m far more willing to spend money on diagnostic and preventive healthcare to ensure good health in the future.

  9. Beautifully written post! I like you spent July 4th with my family & new extended family.

    My daughter married last fall & due to covid had to change that event around to become an intimate backyard reception.

    We spent the afternoon with our daughters, son-in-law & his family. One of the festivities involved water balloons. It did my heart good to participate & see the fun & laughter everyone had just enjoying the day & being together.

    Thank you for sharing your post!:)

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